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World’s First Synthetic Microbe Accused of Copyright Infringement by James Joyce’s Estate

When Craig Venter created a synthetic microbe, he inserted a passage from James Joyce. Guess who’s upset? Joyce’s estate, claiming copyright infringement:

In order to distinguish their synthetic DNA from that naturally present in the bacterium, Venter’s team coded several famous quotes into their DNA, including one from James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist of a Young Man: “To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life.”

After announcing their work, Venter explained, his team received a cease and desist letter from Joyce’s estate, saying that he’d used the Irish writer’s work without permission. ”We thought it fell under fair use,” said Venter.

Link – via The Loom

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Date
March 19th, 2011

Author
Stranger to the World

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